Building Back Britain: Government plans to fuel regeneration efforts

The government has recently announced new plans allowing for the demolition of certain vacant and redundant buildings built before 1990 to be rebuilt as residential accommodation.

This has made way for government policy allowing for brownfield sites to be more easily regenerated. The main hope of this policy is to provide further incentive to regenerate post-industrial towns and cities in the north-east of England which were disproportionately affected by the loss of key industry during the 1970’s and ’80s.

Despite the UK largely benefiting from globalisation with new specialisations in banking and finance, this wealth largely concentrated in the southeast of England, and London. This has meant the northeast has rarely received the rewards of globalisation which are concentrated in the south of England shown by London being worth £487 billion a 1/4 of UK GDP in 2018.

This loss of industry has led to structural unemployment in the North of England from the loss of large steel manufacturers, resulting in lower levels of income resulting in increased levels of relative poverty and higher deprivation levels.

The government plans to allow for previously vacant properties to have new houses built, as well as this, an introduction of a simplified planning process will provide greater planning certainty to developers increasing incentives for firms to invest as the risk to investors decreases as firms know their planning application will be accepted.

This will increase investment from construction firms as the simplification of planning provides the incentive needed for firms to invest in derelict sites to regenerate these areas into new affordable housing.

This regeneration will increase the supply of housing in the towns and cities most affected by derelict brownfield sites, leading to a fall in the price of housing in these areas making housing more affordable, increasing the number of houses built, yielding a rise in housing density.

The building of new affordable homes further advances regeneration efforts as average new home buyers are younger families working full-time jobs bringing in stable incomes that are spent in the local area.

This has a positive multiplier effect on the economy and attracts further investment from housing development companies and businesses that may look to move into regenerating areas with the policy expected to provide £79.6m extra value to the business.

This signals businesses’ in the area to increase factor inputs due to increased demand from home buyers with disposable income. This leads to an increase in demand for labour as firms increase production, increasing jobs in the area reducing unemployment, and therefore increasing disposable incomes which are further spent in local shops, illustrating a clear multiplier effect.

Overall, the government will help level up northern by increasing the accessibility of firms to invest and regenerate vacant buildings creating well-paying jobs in these areas. This will allow individuals to enter into higher-paying professions, making it easier for them to afford this now cheaper housing. Therefore, the combination of increased investment by firms and consumers will result in regeneration, illustrating how the government scheme will help better the North and South divide.


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